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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm a newbie to the PJ world... I've read a ton of info over the last week. Not to make this part of the discussion, but I've pretty much settled on buying a refurb Epson 8700UB or a new Benq W7000... with a 2.35:1 fixed screen.

My question involves the anamorphic stretch mode (Epson) and the anamorphic lens (Benq). At first, it was my impression that some projectors are not able to take a BD movie shot in 2.40:1 and display it on the screen in 2.40:1... which, sounds crazy to me because when I watch these movies on my plasma display the movies are shown in their native 2.40:1 ratio (with black bars). My impression is that the projectors can't do this on their own... Epsons answer is to use processing that allows the projector to morph the picture into it's correct 2.40:1 ratio... and that the Benq has some sort of lens that does the same thing. Am I right??? Or are these anamorphic modes/lenses more or less like the "Zoom" mode on my plasma that stretches the picture from 2.40:1 aspect so that if fits on a 16:9 screen???

If the former is correct (my first assumption)... can anyone speak to the differences between a PJ that performs the anamorphic stretch digitally (like the Epson) versus one that does it with a lens?

I'm a little confused, here


Read more: Anamorphic lens/stretch - Home Theater Forum and Systems - HomeTheaterShack.com
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
^^^^ Just as an FYI, I posted this in the projector section and just noticed there is an anamorphic section... not sure if it okay for me to drag the post here:sad:^^^^


Just to add a question to the above post... I know that not all films suited for scope are 2.40... some are 2.35, correct? Will the projectors I listed above natural morph an image from a 2.35 just a tad so that it fills out a 2.40 screen?
 

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I have a Panasonic AE4000 and it does two things: One, it zoomes out to fill the 2,35:1 screen that I have. Two, it masks the black sections that would then spill out over the top and bottom of the screen.
This zooming feature needs to be set up once and takes a few min to save as a preset. From that point on it automatically zooms depending on the movie aspect ratio.
 

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As I have not owned either the Epson or the BenQ I dont know how they accomplish the change in aspect. I would have to wonder if it was done in the digital realm if the image quality would be affected in some way?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I guess my basic confusion is this: I install a 2.40:1 screen... and I have your Panasonic projector installed... am I safe in assuming that the Panasonic (or any sub-$3000) projector doesn't have the proper lens to natively display a 2.40:1 movie?

If I catch what you are saying... your panasonic somehow zooms the picture to allow it to fit?

I'm confused.

What I'm really interested in is watching 2.40 movies on a 2.40 screen without it looking distorted/blurred or overly processed... know what I mean?
 

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Any projector can display a 2.35:1 movie (or other widescreen aspect ratios), within a 16:9 frame, just like an HDTV - with black bars on top and bottom.

Any projector with sufficient zoom can be adjusted to display that same image zoomed to fit a 2.35:1 aspect ratio screen - with the black bars landing outside the bounds of the screen. A few projectors (like the Panasonic) can also memorize zoom settings to make it easy to switch back and forth between 16:9 and 2.35:1 settings.

Another way to accommodate 2.35:1 screen is using an anamorphic lens, and some type of scaler - that scaler can be built into the projector ("stretch mode"), or a separate device (such as a Lumagen, or an HTPC). The scaler stretches the image vertically, lopping off those black bars on the top and bottom - but making everyone look thin and, well, stretched out. An anamorphic lens then stretches that image, which no longer has black bars, horizontally, thus restoring the original image geometry.

Still another method to achieve 2.35:1 is called the "shrink method" - where you permanently zoom the projector for 2.35:1 movies on your 2.35:1 screen - and then use a video processor or PC to electronically scale 16:9 movies down to fit into the 2.35:1 frame when needed.
 

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What I'm really interested in is watching 2.40 movies on a 2.40 screen without it looking distorted/blurred or overly processed... know what I mean?
Yes I understand what your saying, With the Panasonic it does not change the resolution or the quality of the image as its only adjusted optically.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Okay, Tony. I think I understand. I know this isn't that complicated... but when you shop for a flat panel these aren't the issues that you normally are looking at.

I have a budget and the anamorphic lens is pretty much out of the question.

Currently in my home theater, I have a 50" Pioneer PDP. I really like it, but I'd like MORE picture:R

I do have size constraints, though, and based on some other factors the biggest 2.40:1 screen that I can fit is roughly 8' across. I have some height restrictions and width restrictions. That kind of screen will allow me to show 16:9 material on what is roughly the equivalent of a 64" Plasma... but with the benefit of have a much larger screen for 2.40:1 material. The alternative is... I can fit a new plasma ... about 65" max. But I like the idea of the bigger cinemascope screen.

Just as an FYI, my seating is about 12 ft. away, max (which from my calculations, falls within the recommendations from THX for the size scope screen I'm considering).


I have a questions for you about your Panasonic (and please don't take this as a dig in any way):

1) I've read quite a bit on projectorreviews.com. Seems like a fairly well put together site. In the sub-$3000 category the editor gives a nod to Epson over the Panasonic... mainly based on black levels. I, unfortunately, don't have a show-room near me where I can experience these projectors first hand. The site also says that the picture brightness takes about a 25% hit when zooming to fit a picture on a 2.40:1 screen. Your Panny model isn't for sale anymore... it as been replaced with the 7000 (?)... which the editor says doesn't match the epsons of years past (I believe he specifically highlights the Epson 8700 UB). Can you talk about your experiences with blacks and shadow detail (possibly relate them to what you would experience on a good plasma?)?

2) How well does your projector handle HDTV material? Sports? Again, if you could compare to what I would experience on a plasma... that would be awesome:T

thx
 

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I do have size constraints, though, and based on some other factors the biggest 2.40:1 screen that I can fit is roughly 8' across. I have some height restrictions and width restrictions. That kind of screen will allow me to show 16:9 material on what is roughly the equivalent of a 64" Plasma.
8' wide cinemascope (2.35:1 aspect ratio) would be 96" wide x 40.85" high - the 16:9 that fits in that screen would be 72.62" wide x 40.85" high, 83.32" diagonal - a whole lot bigger than that 64" plasma. :T
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I think the viewable area would be smaller... No? The entire screen itself would fit in an area that is just a tad under 8 ft and 40" high... I think the viewable area with that is 36" or so...

I'm pretty sure when I did the calculations it was the equivalent to something less that a 70" Display panel.

At any rate... With these projectors, do the darks and PQ increase with a smaller display area such as that?
 

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1) I've read quite a bit on projectorreviews.com. Seems like a fairly well put together site. In the sub-$3000 category the editor gives a nod to Epson over the Panasonic... mainly based on black levels. I, unfortunately, don't have a show-room near me where I can experience these projectors first hand. The site also says that the picture brightness takes about a 25% hit when zooming to fit a picture on a 2.40:1 screen. Your Panny model isn't for sale anymore... it as been replaced with the 7000 (?)... which the editor says doesn't match the epsons of years past (I believe he specifically highlights the Epson 8700 UB). Can you talk about your experiences with blacks and shadow detail (possibly relate them to what you would experience on a good plasma?)?
Well, in my situation my room can be made compleatly black so light is not an issue thus I can have the brightness levels on the projector where they should be. I find the blacks to be very good (not as good as DLP) but still far better then my previous Sanyo Z4 projector. A great movie to check out black shadows detail is "I am legend" and the Panasonic did very well. I have heard that the Epson is slightly better with blacks but it does not have any lenz shift so placement is much more limited.

2) How well does your projector handle HDTV material? Sports? Again, if you could compare to what I would experience on a plasma... that would be awesome:T

thx
HDTV looks fantastic on the Panasonic, it handels motion very well particularly if you use the frame creation as it does a great job of getting ris of any jitter or studder you may sometimes see on fast pans. I have watched hockey and some car racing and it always looks great.
 

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I think the viewable area would be smaller... No? The entire screen itself would fit in an area that is just a tad under 8 ft and 40" high... I think the viewable area with that is 36" or so...

I'm pretty sure when I did the calculations it was the equivalent to something less that a 70" Display panel.
Oh I see what you're saying, you have a max of 8' width to work with, so the exterior dimension of the screen frame needs to be no more than 8' - so if the frame was 4" wide, that would be 96" -8" - 88" wide viewable, so the height would be 36.67". Yup, that's what I missed, that 8' was the maximum outer width, not the viewable screen width.

Unless you're extremely height limited as well, I'd be tempted to go with a 16:9 screen in that case, no sense in limiting both 16:9 and 2.35:1 content.
 

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Well, in my situation my room can be made compleatly black so light is not an issue thus I can have the brightness levels on the projector where they should be. I find the blacks to be very good (not as good as DLP) but still far better then my previous Sanyo Z4 projector. A great movie to check out black shadows detail is "I am legend" and the Panasonic did very well. I have heard that the Epson is slightly better with blacks but it does not have any lenz shift so placement is much more limited.


HDTV looks fantastic on the Panasonic, it handels motion very well particularly if you use the frame creation as it does a great job of getting ris of any jitter or studder you may sometimes see on fast pans. I have watched hockey and some car racing and it always looks great.
I second this - I have the AE7000 and blacks are very good IMO. I was choosing between the Epson and Panny and went with the Panny because of the flexibility in positioning.

And, I watch a lot of baseball on mine - and it looks really good. Having never owned a plasma, I really can't compare.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
Cool.

Just so I understand... in the Epson Specs, it has listed for lens shift:

Lens Shift V - 96.3% / H - 47.1%

Is this something different than what you guys are talking about?

Just out of curiosity.... does this clip from a user review make sense to you (and, have you found it to be true?)

PT-AE7000U

Loving this projector, but I wanted to pointout an issue when using the zoom feature described by the author and the artifacts that result. As noted in the review, for those of us with 2:35 or 2:40 screens. Here's the text first to refresh your memory:

If the centerline of the projector's lens is above the center of the screen (which it usually is), a switch from 16:9 to 2.4 will cause a vertical off-shift of the image. But it is easy to move the 2.4 image up and down within the display's 16:9 native frame. In setting up the Lens Memory position, the projector will remember not only the image size and focal position, but the vertical offset as well. Basically, using this system is a piece of cake. The huge advantage to it is that it eliminates the high cost and cumbersome nuisance of an external anamorphic lens. And you end up with a sharper picture to boot. The AE7000 will display a 2.4 widescreen source in native one-to-one pixel match direct from the source.

So the artifact of this setup is that the projector still throws a 16:9 frame such that the image is now contained within. As a result, true black is not achieved below the 2:35 zoom. Assuming you used vertical shift to move the frame back up to the top of your screen, the 2:35 (or 2:40) image fills your screen nicely, however BELOW the bottom of the vertically shifted image is a light leakage from the 16:9 native format. When watching content that is dark, you can really see the leakage and its pretty distracting!

I've not been able to find a way around this and likely there isn't one because its a native 16:9 frame. The only way I can see to avoid this is to have the projector at absolute center-line of the screen, and that's just not typlically feasible...
 

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I do believe that the lens shift on the Epson is the same its just limited and cant be adjusted a much as the Panasonic Also none of the adjustmenst are automatic on the epson so if you want to adjust to watch a 2,35:1 movie you have to do it manually.
The above comments of the user must not know how to use the masking feature of the Panasonic as once set there is no light thrown off the screen at all in 2,35:1 mode (at least not on mine).
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Okay. Thanks for all the input. I really appreciate it.

I'm pretty sure I have a grasp of what I need to understand.

At this point, the most important thing I can do... is convince the wife... I think she'll be okay with it...:kiss:
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Tony... one last question... I've read that some folks have experienced spill over (namely white lite bellow the screen) when switching from 16:9 to 2.40:1 material...

Is that a projector placement issue? Have you experienced that?
 

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No white light at all on mine. I suspect again that they are not using the bottom masking to remove the black bars from the video and yes if they have the projector mounted too high and thats going to be an issue with any projector not just the Panasonic. You should avoid mounting a projector above being in line with the top of the screen.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 · (Edited)
How much much masking is needed? I'm almost settled on the Carada Precision screen that has a 2" border around it...

http://www.carada.com/Projection-Precision-Series-Projector-Screens.aspx


Just out of curiosity... if you watch this youtube video, they have the Panasonic AE7000U... and zoom it in on a scope screen. The walls behind the screen are not dark... but there's no evidence of overflow from the zoom. Is it really that unnoticeable?

 
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